The row over artificial preservatives and flavourings in our foodstuffs has raged long and hard. Now the 'IoS' discloses how one substance may cause damage similar to alcohol abuse.
Martin Hickman reports(extract:)
The chemicals in our food and drink, and what they can do to us
Can provoke asthma attacks and has links to thyroid tumours. Colours soft drinks.
Quinoline yellow: colouring.
Used in a wide range of medications but can cause dermatitis. Banned in US and Norway.
Sunset yellow FCR: colouring.
Side effects are hives, kidney tumours, nausea and vomiting.
Derives from coal tar. Can cause bad reactions in asthmatics and people allergic to aspirin.
Ponceau 4R: colouring.
Carcinogen in animals, can produce bad reaction in asthmatics.
Fibre extracted from seaweed, recently linked to cancer.
Guar gum: thickener.
Derived from seeds fed to cattle in the US. Can cause nausea.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG): flavouring.
Flavour enhancer found in many canned foods. Not permitted in foods for young children. Adverse effects appear in some asthmatic people.
Monopotassium glutamate: flavouring.
Can cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.
Disodium 5-ribonucleotide: flavouring.
Associated with itchy skin rashes up to 30 hours after ingestion. Often found in instant noodles and party pies.
Expert links additive to cell damage
By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent
Published: 27 May 2007
A new health scare erupted over soft drinks last night amid evidence they may cause serious cell damage. Research from a British university suggests a common preservative found in drinks such as Fanta and Pepsi Max has the ability to switch off vital parts of DNA.